20 July, 2010

today I was talking to two campers Mary and Roland when we were on the swings, and they told me that they're in Green Mountain Self-Advocates and they go to SABE conferences. Roland said he lived in an institution when he was a kid. Mary said, "I didn't get along with my parents and they tried to send me away to a special school, but I proved everybody wrong." She lives on her own and has a job working with little kids and gives presentations about independent living.

so cool. this guy had a seizure and I didn't even notice because I was talking to Mary and Roland. Then I felt bad but the other counselors said that it's okay and when there's an emergency all the counselors shouldn't run over there because it creates drama and someone having a seizure doesn't need five different people trying to help them at once, etc. I just feel like I'm mildly shitty at this job because I'm good with people one-on-one and in very small groups, but I have trouble seeing the big picture and watching a whole group of people at once.


  1. Jobs like the one you're doing need people who deal well 1:1 and people who are good at big picture stuff. I don't know many people who can do all things perfectly well in a day, you only have so much time and energy.

    Your strengths are wonderful and you work with people who compliment you with different ones. Please don't beat yourself up!

  2. I wish I could meet these people.

    When you come back I have to tell you about the kids I'm working with right now. They are lovely, and I hope they grow up to be self-advocates like Mary and Roland.

  3. I'm glad the kid with the seizure was taken care of. A camp should require at least one counselor that can do 1:1 and another that can keep a watch on everyone. It is difficult to find people who can do both. I could not imagine being a single mother of 8 children; that has to be the hardest job in the world!

    I really should run some summer camps like this. I miss all these camps that I went to as a kid, going to the pool, beach, and amusement parks. They were just general camps, but I still made some friends.

    I am majoring in environmental science, so perhaps I could inspire disabled students to appreciate the natural world!

  4. Zoe I wrote you a letter, did you ever get it? I'm excited to hear about the kids you're with.

    The person having the seizure was 42, it's not a camp for kids (well one section of the camp is called the "kids' section," but the campers there are like 12-24 and most of them are over 18). It's actually surprisingly hard to be a counselor, not because of anything we actually do and not because of what the campers' disabilities are, but just because I've been living at a summer camp in the middle of nowhere for two months with four free hours a day (including sleep). I'm going stir crazy. But you should definitely try it yourself.